Wangaratta’s VEX Robotics students punched well above their weight at the recent Australian National VEX Robotics Championships. The regional team were underdogs, however managed to beat top Melbourne and NSW teams to win the Excellence Award and a spot at the VEX Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky in the USA.
“Due to the expense of getting our teams and their robots to Melbourne, our teams only had ONE trip to Melbourne early in 2017 for a VEX Competition against the top teams. For the rest of the year, they had spent their time searching YouTube to see what other teams from around the world had been up to and gathered ideas,” explained Galen Science Teacher Maree Timms.
“They knew they had a competitive robot but with no big competitions to test their skills, they didn’t know how well they would go. That didn’t deter them – they practiced, at lunchtimes, after school, on weekends and even during holidays.”
At the Australian Nationals, the Galen team held the lead for most of the day, with their excitement growing, they impressed the judges during the interview stages of the competition through their knowledge of their robot, engineering logbook, and enthusiasm. They also gained bonus points with their autonomous programming skills and driver skills. Thus winning the coveted Excellence Award.
“Whilst the school was confident it would be competitive, the result was unexpected and has caught us somewhat off guard in relation to securing the financial support to prepare, equip, attend and compete at the championships within three months.”
“Their winning of the Excellence award and a spot at the World VEX Competition means a massive fundraising effort is required: $30,000 in three months.”
The Vex Worlds is considered the ‘Olympics of Robotics’ and holds the Guinness Book of Records as the largest robotics event in the world. Our Team will be one of 1,400 teams from all over the world competing. The competition starts on the 24th April 2017.
The dedicated student team have been working during their current summer holidays in a farm shed, in 40 degree heat to create an even better robot to compete at the VEX Worlds.
Some support has already been secured from VEX Australia, the school community and a number of businesses in both Wangaratta and Melbourne. Fundraising events are being arranged locally including community BBQ’s and a Goods and Services Auction, as well as promotion through Wangaratta Chronicle and local radio stations 3NE and Edge FM.
“Whilst we are extremely grateful for the support provided so far, we are currently well short of the estimated $30 000 needed to send the team over, including two staff members from the school. The support we’ve received so far will give them a head start, but major sponsors would be a great asset to their journey.”
If you’d like to support Galen’s VEX Team to compete in the USA, please contact: